The super-sized Duggar family from “19 Kids and Counting” proved that love is in full bloom during a super-sized new episode called “A Toast To Love,” which aired on May 27 on TLC. As posted by ABC News on Tuesday, the episode was a bit shocking (by Duggar standards) because Jill and Derick broke courting rules after being apart for 60 days. Instead of a Duggar approved side hug, they ran into each other’s arms when Derick returned from Nepal and gave each other a “frontal hug,” as described by Jim Bob. Afterward, Derick said innocently, “I don’t think we want to go that long in the future without seeing each other.”
As fans now know, Jill Duggar is set to marry Derick Dillard on Saturday, June 21. With only 25 days until their big day, the lovebirds are busy with wedding plans and a bridal shower. According to The Knot, their shower was hosted by a church fellowship. The event had a sweet pink and green color scheme and included a matching cake.
During “A Toast To Love,” 20 Duggars made the trek to the airport to meet Derick for the first time and welcome him back to the States. Jill and Derick were separated for two months, but carried on a long distance courtship – more than 7,000 miles away. With homemade signs and a camera crew on hand, the scene was a bit overwhelming. “I knew what to expect, but you can't quite prepare for it until you’re actually there,” Derick said upon his arrival.
Michelle Duggar, who had never met Derick in person, updated viewers on her recent trip to see a high-risk pregnancy specialist. Her blood work revealed that conception is not totally impossible, but “most unlikely” at her age. As posted by People Magazine on May 27, “Michelle Duggar remains hopeful she can have another child." However on “19 Kids and Counting,” she seemed to accept the fact that her childbearing days may be over. “My family is growing in different ways,” Michelle stated on Tuesday night’s episode with a bit of sadness and reflection.
For a special treat, Michelle planned a triple date and evening out for she and Jim Bob, Jill and Derick, and Jessa and Ben. However, the twist was that it focused on etiquette. Derick, just home from Nepal, joked, “I spent two years in a country where we ate with our hands." Ben, hoping to impress the rest raised his glass in a “toast to love.”
The super-sized episode of “19 Kids and Counting” ended with a surprise dinner theater production to honor Michelle and Jim Bob. Jana, the set director, stated, “It’s a really special time because everyone is going off in different directions.” Jessa added, “We wanted to show our love and appreciation for them for all they do for us.” The Duggar boys, plus Ben and Derick, built the stage, while Jessa and Jinger supervised the meal that included soup, salad, steak, sweet potato fries, asparagus, apple pie and ice cream.
When Jim Bob and Michelle arrived, they were both shocked at their kids’ hard work. Michelle had tears in her eyes and Jim Bob mentioned that he was extremely touched. The dinner theater included songs and musical performances, skits, a movie, and a poem that would touch any parent’s heart to the core. “It was so creative,” Michelle said in almost a whisper. Jim Bob added emotionally, “It makes me want to cry.”
The 8th season of “19 Kids and Counting” comes to a close next week. “A Duggar Says…” is super-sized to one hour and airs at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, June 3 on TLC. While the girls are out promoting their new book, Derick takes the opportunity to do some secret planning back at home. After getting permission from Jim Bob to ask for Jill's hand in marriage, will he be able to pull off an intricate proposal?
The finale of “19 Kids and Counting” signals the end of the season for the Duggars, but the beginning of a new adventure for Amy Duggar. A special one-hour episode of “19 Kids and Counting” highlighting Amy’s best moments airs at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday, June 10, to be followed by “A Duggar Leaves Home” at 9 p.m. EST on TLC. Be sure to check out the slideshow and video above for a preview of Amy’s “A Duggar Leaves Home.”